MIT Prof: ‘Local Job Numbers Drive Recall Election’

5/20/12 – An M-I-T business professor says Wisconsin voters have a right to be confused by the conflicting job data in advance of the governor’s recall election. But Thomas Kochen says all the numbers won’t mean a thing – because voters on June fifth will judge the employment situation by what they see in their own communities. Kochen is a Manitowoc area native who co-directs the M-I-T Institute for Work and Employment Research. He tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that when he returns to Two Rivers and Manitowoc quote, “They are depressed – That’s the reality people are experiencing, and that’s what’s going to influence their judgment.” Kochen said also it’s well known that the federal government’s monthly job surveys for each state are not reliable. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has admitted that Wisconsin’s initial monthly job totals can be off by as many as 93-hundred in either direction. Yesterday, officials announced April’s preliminary data, showing that Wisconsin lost 62-hundred private sector jobs last month. Republican Governor Scott Walker said the loss was expected, judging by a weak national report two weeks earlier. The governor this week cited a more extensive survey, showing that Wisconsin has gained 24-thousand public-and-private jobs in 2011. But Walker’s opponent, Democrat Tom Barrett, points other figures showing that the state lost almost 34-thousand jobs over the past year.